Greens also want Govt control of the press

I blogged last week on how Labour’s policy was to look at bringing the self-regulatory under Government control (and to tax Internet users).

Well the Herald reports the are also keen on the idea:

The Green Party wants to make independent watchdog the Press Council answerable to the Government.

So if there is a centre-left Government of Labour, Greens and Winston, the Government looks likely to bring in Government censorship of print media. I mean can anyone imagine Winston thinking it is a bad idea?

If print media lose their independence by a Labour/Greens Government, then the possible penalties they could face from a Government appointed regulator include:

  • Compulsory publication of a statement from the BSA
  • an order to refrain from publishing for a set period of time
  • an order to refuse any advertisements for a set period of time
  • $100,000 fines for non-compliance
  • Pay costs (which can be huge)

The Minister of Broadcasting appoints all four members of the BSA. I have no criticism of the current BSA members and their decision to date. But extending their reach to include all media would be a huge step backwards for press freedom, and would inevitably lead to more politicised appointments.

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